Suspended Mount Vernon Cop Secretly Recorded Disability Retirement

A Mount Vernon police officer who was taped by a colleague admitting misconduct by him and other members of the narcotics unit filed for disability retirement this summer.

John Campo, who was suspended without pay last week, several months after the records surfaced, filed for a disability pension with the state comptroller’s office in early September.

Campo was only able to get a full pension if the disability was approved because he only worked half of the 20 years required for there to be no reduction in his pension.

Campo’s suspension went into effect last Monday. He had been required to answer questions related to the ministry’s internal investigation into the tapes and risked suspension if he did not fully open up.

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Campo could not be reached and a lawyer representing him declined to comment. His disability retirement attorney, Warren Roth, said Campo had suffered debilitating back injuries for years as well as a stressful work environment since the tapes came to light.

“All he ever wanted to be was a cop,” said Roth, who also represented the father of Campo, a master plumber who died of cancer he contracted after being exposed to toxins. when he was working at Ground Zero at the time of September 11. Terrorist attacks.

Campo is a key figure in the secret recordings made by Officer Murashea Bovell from 2017. Bovell has complained of police misconduct and retaliation against him for revealing it, in two prosecutions in recent years.

What is allegedly on the tapes

Bovell and his attorney shared the tapes with The Gothamist this year. In one, Campo admits holding 40 crack stones for a man who was arrested on minor charges because he was a narcotics unit informant and they didn’t want anyone to know that he had drugs. When the man was released from headquarters, Campo said he returned his medication to him.

In another recording, he talks about the narcotics unit allowing a known drug dealer to operate with impunity, including a case where they knew he had a gun in his car while driving. with his son.

Campo complained on the tapes that he was kicked from the unit for testing positive for marijuana when the other narcotics officers had done much worse.

Police Commissioner Glenn Scott disbanded the Narcotics Unit earlier this year after the tapes aired and in recent months has put Detective Camilo Antonini on duty. Antonini has been accused on the tapes and in Bovell’s prosecution of several cases of excessive use of force, entrapment of innocent people and the laying of evidence.

Campo’s career arc is unusual, with three separate transfers in his first four years as a police officer.

He joined the Mount Vernon Police Department in January 2010 and completed his training at Westchester Police Academy. He left to become a Mount Kisco Police Officer in January 2012, but only stayed six months before being transferred to the Harrison Police Department.

Eight months later, in March 2013, Campo was back in Mount Vernon.

In Harrison, he injured his lower back while on duty when he kicked open a door, court documents show. He underwent physical therapy and returned to duty a month before leaving the department.

In Mount Vernon, Campo completed three months of military service from November 2013 to January 2014. Shortly after his return, he was injured after pulling someone from a burning house. He then injured his knee in a car chase.

Campo then applied for disability compensation for an injury he sustained in August 2014 when he claimed to have tripped on a chair in the area of ​​the cell block where he was working. His request was rejected by a supervisor and then by senior police officials after a hearing. A state appeals court in 2017 upheld the city’s decision.

He returned to work and no longer appealed the decision. There remains a $ 515 judgment against Campo in the state Supreme Court for legal costs.

Twitter: @jonbandler


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